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Cancers and Tumors in Hamsters

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  Malignant and Benign Tumors in Hamsters An abnormal growth of cells in a tissue or organ is referred to as a tumor, of which  there are two types: benign and malignant. Benign tumors, which do not spread, are much more common in hamsters. Malignant tumors (or cancers), meanwhile, may develop in one location such as the hormone-producing glands or digestive system organs and spread into other body parts. Only four percent of hamsters suffer from malignant  tumors in hamsters . The most common location of benign tumors is in the adrenal gland, which is near the kidney. Lymphoma (tumor of the lymph glands) is common in older hamsters and is seen all over the lymphatic system like the thymus, spleen, liver and lymph nodes. A type of T-cell lymphoma that affects the skin occurs in adult hamsters. Other tumors can develop in the womb, intestines, brain, skin, hair follicles, fat, or eyes. The treatment and prognosis depends on where the tumor is situated and how soon the treatment begins.

E. coli Infection in Hamsters

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  Colibacillosis in Hamsters Diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli bacteria is a very common occurrence in hamsters, especially  young and newborn hamsters with poorly developed immune systems. Typically,  E. coli infection in hamsters  (or Colibacillosis) occurs due to unhygienic living conditions and is transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food and water, though it may also be transmitted through the air. Symptoms Similar to other illnesses that cause diarrhea, hamsters with colibacillosis may lead to abdominal pain and depression. Infected hamsters may have profuse watery diarrhea that is foul-smelling; some may even develop fluid buildup in the abdomen. Causes Colibacillosis is an infection caused by E. coli bacteria. Young and newborn hamsters are more commonly infected with germs due to their poorly developed immune systems, though any hamster living in unhygienic or substandard living conditions can develop the infections. E. coli can be found in contaminated food and/or water

How to Keep Hamster Teeth Healthy

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  Hamsters are small rodents. The word “rodent” comes from the Latin word “rodere,” which means “to gnaw.” Gnawing is a very   important activity for hamsters, as their upper and lower front teeth (known as incisors), are covered by yellow-orange enamel and continuously grow throughout their life. It is critical that these small animals gnaw to wear down their continuously growing front teeth as they grow and important to know   how to keep hamster teeth healthy . Hamsters also have large, muscular outpouchings of the lining of their mouths (one on each side of their face) called cheek pouches. They use these pouches to transport food, bedding and, occasionally, babies. When filled, cheek pouches look like big sacs that can extend as far back as the shoulder. Hamsters use their front paws to massage food out from the pouch when they are ready to eat it. Dental Problems in Hamsters Since their incisors grow throughout life, hamsters commonly develop overgrown incisors that may get so lo

Protrusion of Eyeball (Eye Bulging) in Hamsters

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  Exophthalmos, Proptosis in Hamsters Also known as exophthalmos or proptosis, the bulging of one or both eyeballs  from the socket is common  in hamsters . Typically it occurs due to an infection of the eye or a trauma, though it may also happen if the hamster is restrained too tightly from the back of the neck. Exophthalmos should be considered an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. In fact, the sooner the hamster is treated, the more likely it is usually that the eye can become saved. If the condition worsens, surgical removal of the attention is the only solution. Symptoms A hamster with exophthalmos will exhibit excruciating pain in either one or both eyes. Other common signs include: Protrusion or bulging of the eyeball Slight enlargement of the eyeball Watery discharge from the eye, which may also appear red or irritated Causes Eye infections or traumas to the orbital region are often the cause of exophthalmos, though it also can occur when the hamster is res

Salmonella Infection in Hamsters

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  Salmonellosis in Hamsters Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the Salmonella bacteria . Although rare in pet hamsters,  salmonellosis can lead to complications such as spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), diarrhea, and septicemia. It is usually spread due to ingestion of food and water contaminated with infected feces or urine of wild rodents. Infected bedding material can also act as a potential source of transmission. Salmonella is highly contagious to humans and other animals; therefore, use the utmost caution when handling  in hamsters  suspected of being infected with the bacteria. Symptoms The severity of the disease will often determine the signs and symptoms that are overtly present. Symptoms commonly seen in hamsters with salmonellosis include: Fever Lethargy Diarrhea Vomiting Loss of appetite (anorexia) Weight loss Dehydration Abdominal pain Distended stomach Rough body coat Abnormal vaginal discharge (in females) Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) Causes There are mor

Vitamin E Deficiency in Hamsters

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  Often due to an improper diet, vitamin E deficiency can affect a hamster's immune response, making it prone to disorders  such as mastitis and anemia. An antioxidant, vitamin E also plays an important role in protecting various cells and membranes in an animal's body. Providing your hamster with an appropriate, balanced diet is the best way to prevent  Vitamin E deficiency in hamsters , though your veterinarian may be able to provide you with supplements. Symptoms Adult hamsters suffering from vitamin E deficiency may exhibit muscle paralysis, stiffness or joints, and lameness. Excess fat in a hamster's diet may also lead to vitamin E deficiency. The skull and/or spine of the offspring may be swollen with blood, and the mother may even eat its pups. Causes Adult hamsters, both male and female, could be affected with vitamin E deficiency due to improper nutrition. However, pregnant hamsters and young hamsters are known to suffer from this disorder more frequently. In young

Pink Eye in Hamsters

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  Conjunctivitis in Hamsters Sometimes referred to as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eye's outermost layer. This may  be the result of an injury, overgrown or disebecauseed teeth, or teeth that are not aligned properly. Conjunctivitis may also be caused by a bacterial infection or irritation from dust in the bedding which causes  pink eye in hamsters . Also, avoid housing hamsters of different age groups together or overcrowding a cage. However, do not self-administer medication as hamsters are extremely sensitive creatures that are likely to develop allergic reactions to certain drugs. Instead, consult your veterinarian as to the best eye drops or ointments for your pet. Symptoms Watery eye discharge (oozing, dripping) Prolonged discharge may become more purulent (pus-like) Sticky eyelids due to dried up discharge Swollen eye (or face in severe cases) Redness around the edge of the eyelids Causes Injury/bite wounds Dental disorders like overgrown teeth, malo